As the title would suggest this is a utopian view of how a new Scotland following a successful YES vote in the independence referendum “could” develop. If you haven’t read Part 1 it’s here.
Localism had been one the most stunning successes. In a Doctor Who like manner the clock had been re-set to before 1975, before councils were re-organised. Now people could once again have a vested interest in their community and things were done which suited the townspeople rather than some distant regional council government. At the same time and also stemming from leaving the EU the amount of regulations was cut to the bone and then some. The cost savings helped enormously and reduced the burden on families and made it once again possible to have light touch governance.
Okay there were a fair amount of problems when people woke up to the fact that they would have to take more responsibility for themselves and their families but they got the hang of it pretty quickly. The setting up of a common good fund for every town/community was done and was used to support local organisations and people who may have had a problem or several and also ensured that there was always a pot of money to fritter a wee bit just for the local populations benefit.
The NHS in Scotland had to be completely re-structured also. Local GPs were required to go back to providing medical care 24/7. No more waiting weeks for an appointment to see a Doctor, no more having to carry stuff out that a distant government thought was a good idea, no more prescribing drugs because they could although they addressed symptoms rather than providing a cure. No more drug company reps trying to sell drugs to practices, no more lecturing to patients and no more spouting stuff with little or no scientific basis.
What a difference. The GPs lived in the towns and communities they served so they knew their patients. The potential patient group dramatically reduced the number of visits they made to the surgeries; they just got on with it unless it was something concerning.
The supermarkets that had hinted that they might have to increase prices if Scotland won independence were made subject to one of the earliest bills that was voted using direct democracy. The bill required all retailers, suppliers, providers etc. who operated within Scottish borders had to use the same price for goods and services for all of Scotland. The main mechanism to achieve this was for the supermarkets to use an open book system, which allowed anyone to see how much the supermarkets etc. paid for their goods and services. Lead balloon time for a wee while but all for the best.
A group of smaller Scottish supermarkets then formed a larger chain and bought the Wm Low name. Suddenly, they started to get lots more customers through their doors since they had an open book policy in place they also bought food locally and employed lots of local people on good rates of pay. Someone buying any sort of goods in Orkney paid the same price as someone living in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
This system might have been a wee bit more expensive for people in the central belt but it wasn’t that much and made things much fairer al round.